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Hanifa Is Going in a New Direction

Inspired by changes in her personal life, Anifa Mvuemba says her latest collection “speaks to the joy in shedding the old to find the new.”

“I’ve been thinking a lot less lately about large, short-lived brand moments,” Anifa Mvuemba shares over email, “and pursuing more of what our customers have loved about us from the beginning: storytelling and meaningful creative direction.”

The founder and designer behind Hanifa is experiencing a lot of change in her life, including her first pregnancy. It’s influencing her creative process and philosophy for the ready-to-wear brand that launched in 2012, went viral for a digital fashion show in 2020, and has since gained the support of celebrities like Beyoncé and Issa Rae. After riding that momentum and staging a runway show in late 2021, the brand is shifting towards smaller, more intentional product drops, which Mvuemba says is how things were when the brand was younger. Garments will still have that indistinguishable Hanifa spunk and flair, but we probably won’t see another 18-piece collection anytime soon.

Mvuemba has found that pregnancy changed her pace of life — and not in the way you might expect. “Ironically, I’ve been more on-the-go pregnant than prior to before, but I see it as giving my baby a taste of the world. I want her to feel free to be, and hopefully my life journey helps her to navigate hers,” she says of her future daughter.

The experience is also influencing her design approach. 

“I’m a lot more conscious of the fit and feel of our clothes, as well as maximizing my time the best way that I can,” Mvuemba tells Fashionista. “This has helped me so much with decision making, I know what I want now more than ever before. I can imagine this will stay with me into motherhood as well, and I’m curious to see the difference that it makes.”

The Spring 2023 collection, coming in at seven total looks, is the first major manifestation of this new energy. The collection is inspired by “the anatomy of a flower,” according to Mvuemba. It’s aptly titled “Bloom.”

“I wanted to focus on the details of flowers on a microscopic level,” she explains. “The structure, color and preservation of movement are all reflected in the pieces of our newest collection. I wanted to utilize these elements in a way that complements the soft curves of a woman’s body, while still being powerful and noticeable when she walks in a room.”

As with her previous collections, the clothes still hug the soft curves of the body. They pieces are imbued with an earthy, elemental feeling. Some dresses are colored a rich sunflower yellow while others take on olive tones. There are options fit for a summer wedding, the beach, or going dancing after a bottomless brunch. Like her fan-favorite layered knit dress (which mimics structural architecture), there is also a summer-ready chiffon skirt in a similar silhouette. Pieces are available for pre-order and range in price from $139 to $1,999 with sizes spanning XS to 3XL.

Mvuemba explains that the spring collection is a “celebration of undoing. It speaks to the joy in shedding the old to find the new, which is exactly where Hanifa is heading.” Keep scrolling to browse and shop the full collection.

Leilani Bra Top, $139, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Leilani Skirt, $189, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

Rozi Petal Top, $139, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Aster Acid Jeans, $249, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

Sienna Wrap Top, $169, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Sienna Pants, $179, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

Iggy Mini Dress, $299, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

Ren Ruched Mini Dress, $269, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

Sage Draped Mini Dress, $199, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

Casia Gown, starts at $1,999, available here (sizes XS-3XL). Photo: Courtesy of Hanifa

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